Koenig & Bauer says all go for drupa next year

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Press giant Koenig & Bauer says its participation at next year's rescheduled drupa is “not in question” as the industry reacts to the withdrawal of rival Heidelberg from the iconic event.

Big drupa: Koenig & Bauer says no question it will be at the show, and with a raft of innovation
Big drupa: Koenig & Bauer says no question it will be at the show, and with a raft of innovation

Koenig & Bauer CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann is also the drupa president. He said, “We continue to see drupa, the world's leading trade fair, as an important building block in the graphic arts industry, and we see it as our responsibility to support this industry. We want to do our part to continue to provide important impulses locally in personal discussions.”

Heidelberg pulled out to switch the customer experience focus onto its five Print Media Centres, citing uncertainty with Covid as propelling the move away from drupa, which it said would have happened anyway. However, Heidelberg is also battling a huge loss and downturn in orders, and inhouse events cost a fraction of the cost of a drupa, for the company that has had the whole of Hall 1 and a large temporary hospitality tent across the road.

Acknowledging the Covid crisis, and the trend to inhouse events – also cited by Bobst as the reason for its withdrawal – Ralf Sammeck, Koenig & Bauer board member, said, “Trade fairs will not be the same as they were before Covid-19, and Koenig & Bauer is also supplementing communication with its customers with virtual formats and customer-specific events, for example in our new Customer Experience Center.

“Nevertheless, these formats can only convey the performance capabilities of the broad product portfolio to a limited extent. Nothing beats experiencing the latest technologies up close in action with the public and the trade fair feeling.”

“For Koenig & Bauer there is no more suitable platform to present the product diversity from digital, offset and flexo printing to intelligent digitalisation and service solutions to an international audience,” Christoph Müller, member of the board at Koenig & Bauer, said.

K&B will have a substantial presence in Hall 16 and is planning to show a raft of new products along with new-look press styling. Those new products will include the new B1 Rapida 106X sheetfed press, and the joint venture VariJet digital carton press. The group has a diverse range of products spanning web and sheetfed printing, packaging printing, speciality printing, digital printing, flexo printing, and post-press.

The first post-Covid show at the Messe Centre is now scheduled for September, with a caravan and motorhome event. Messe has released a 30-page set of hygiene protocols for the current situation, which includes mandatory masks and social distancing to be enforced by security personnel.

Bolza-Schünemann said, “We have confidence in Messe Düsseldorf's hygiene concept, and in the sense of responsibility of all visitors.”

The rescheduled drupa is set to take place April 20-30 next year.

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